VEC Final Logo - Virginia Employment Commission

Following state and national trends, the Northern Virginia region's unemployment rate declined in May to 8.6%, down from 10% in April.

However, the region's unemployment rate was significantly higher than the 2.3% recorded in May 2019, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Wednesday.

The state unemployment rate fell 1.8 percentage points in May to 9.4%.  

The VEC reported that about 141,000 Northern Virginia residents were out of work and seeking employment in May, down from 163,000 in April. The region's workforce grew by about 26,000, to just over 1.5 million.  However, that was significantly less than the 1.63 million employed in May 2019.

 Unemployment rates declined across all Northern Virginia localities, with Manassas Park posting the highest rate, 10.5%, and Falls Church the lowest, 4.9%.

Unemployment rates by locality

SOURCE: Virginia Employment Commission. 

Locality Apr-20 May-20
Alexandria 9.9% 8.7%
Arlington 7.0% 6.1%
Fairfax City 10.1% 8.7%
Fairfax County 10.2% 8.8%
Falls Church 5.8% 4.9%
Fauquier 8.7% 7.2%
Loudoun 9.9% 8.4%
Manassas 10.9% 9.8%
Manassas Park 11.6% 10.5%
Prince William 11.3% 10.1%
Stafford 9.9% 8.4%

The unemployment rate is calculated based on a household survey typically conducted around the middle of the month, and only residents who are actively looking for work are considered unemployed.  A separate report on unemployment claims shows that nearly 250,000 Northern Virginia residents have filed for unemployment benefits since pandemic-related business shutdowns began in mid-March.  However, the number of continuing claims is down to about 107,000. 

Falls Church's rate was the lowest in the state for May among all counties and cities.  Petersburg had the highest rate, 17.2%.

(1) comment


Thank President Trump for this booming economy before COVID and the recovery we are seeing already.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.